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The governor's education reforms are good steps, but need to go furtherMay 15, 2013
Democratic lawmakers in Colorado just approved the first major overhaul of that state’s school finance system in 20 years. Colorado is moving to a more equitable and transparent funding system with strong accountability provisions that offer valuable lessons to California lawmakers.
Gov. Brown’s recently proposed “Local Control Funding Formula” would simplify school finance, offer school districts flexibility over more than 50 previously restricted funding streams, and provide more resources for disadvantaged students. Gov. Brown deserves credit — the proposal is a very good start. It is simpler, fairer, and more transparent than the state’s current haphazard school finance system.
Yet, there are serious issues the governor’s plan fails to address, including inequities at schools within the same district and a lack of transparent reporting of funding allocations at the school level.
The rollout of Reason Foundation's Annual Privatization Report 2013 continues today with the release of the Education section, which which provides an overview of the latest on school choice, charter schools, student-based budgeting and more.
Subsection of Annual Privatization Report 2013: EducationApril 29, 2013
This subsection of Reason Foundation's Annual Privatization Report 2013: Education reviews developments over the last year in school choice.
Making school funding more equitable and transparentMarch 5, 2013
The growth of student-based budgeting in school districts and a few states mirrors a national trend toward more decentralized school funding where the money follows the child. In the United States, we are in a transition period, moving from funding institutions to funding students. K-12 education funding is moving closer to the funding model for higher education, where the money follows students to the public, private or nonprofit school of their choice. We are moving away from a K- 12 system funded by local resources and driven by residential assignment to a system where funding is driven by parental choice and student enrollment.
Public funding systems at the state and local level are adapting to a “school funding portability” framework, where state and local school funding is attached to the students and given directly to the institution in which the child enrolls. More than 30 “school funding portability” systems (in cities like New York, Baltimore, Denver, Hartford and Cincinnati, and states including Rhode Island, Hawaii and Indiana) are funding students through student-based budgeting mechanisms. In 2012, Prince George’s County, Newark and Boston have moved to full weighted student formula systems where the money follows the child. Los Angeles Unified has more than 100 pilot schools funded on a per-pupil basis. In California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Nevada, Ohio and Utah there are ongoing legislative debates about fixing the state school finance system through a weighted student formula.
Student-based budgeting proposes a system of school funding based on five key principles:
View Resources by Type
- New at Reason: Looking Back at the Last Year in Education Reform and School Choice
April 29, 2013, 9:00am
- Chicago Schools to Implement Student-Based Budgeting and Principal Autonomy
March 18, 2013, 4:45pm
- Utah Needs "Backpack" Funding
March 4, 2013, 1:27pm
- A Sea Change for School Funding in America
October 21, 2011, 12:49pm
- New Orleans: Most Market-Driven School District in Nation Increases Test Scores Again
May 26, 2011, 3:31pm
- Student-Based Budgeting One Possible Upside to $578 Million Los Angeles High School
September 13, 2010, 10:45am
- Louisiana School Choice News
December 4, 2009, 3:41pm
- For Real Equity: Give Schools the Money Instead of Staffing Positions
November 13, 2009, 12:18pm
- "Money Following the Child" Working in Baltimore
October 21, 2009, 11:49pm
- Denver School Closures Improve Outcomes for Students
September 24, 2009, 4:00pm
- In New Orleans School Choice and Autonomy Drive School Improvement
September 16, 2009, 10:33am
- California School Districts on the Brink
July 23, 2009, 12:49pm
- The Great Charter School Debate
June 10, 2009, 7:02pm
- New Jersey Supreme Court Backs Statewide Student-Based Budgeting
May 29, 2009, 10:55am
- Reason Foundation's New Weighted Student Formula Yearbook
April 30, 2009, 3:00pm
- Unions Will Not Negotiate: LA Unified Lays Off 5,000
April 15, 2009, 12:33pm
- Secretary Arne Duncan Advocates Mayor Control of Schools
April 2, 2009, 1:23pm
- Under Stimulus Rich School Districts Get Richer
March 23, 2009, 5:37pm
- President Obama Visits Model School Choice Program in Los Angeles
March 19, 2009, 6:09pm
- Lessons for Gov. Brown’s California School Finance Plan (5/15)
- New at Reason: Looking Back at the Last Year in Education Reform and School Choice (4/29)
- Weighted Student Formula in the States (4/29)
- Chicago Schools to Implement Student-Based Budgeting and Principal Autonomy (3/18)
- A Handbook for Student-Based Budgeting, Principal Autonomy and School Choice (3/5)
Experts: Weighted Student Formula
- Lisa Snell
Director of Education
RSS Feeds: Weighted Student Formula
Media ContactChris Mitchell
Director of Communications
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